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SPLM-IO refutes accusations against Machar, saying he is peacemaker


September 30, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Riek Machar, former First Vice President and leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), brought the independence of the young country, his spokesperson has said, adding that those who do not want to recognize his historical great achievements are “dishonest individuals.”

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South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar attends the 28th extraordinary summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for heads of state and government in Addis Ababa on 6 November 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

“Who doesn’t know in South Sudan and in the region and beyond that Dr. Riek Machar was the first South Sudanese political leader in the history of the Sudan who signed with Khartoum’s government a peace agreement on April 21, 1997, based on the right to self-determination for the people of South Sudan? And who doesn’t know that after his Movement merged with the Movement of late Dr. John Garang in Nairobi on January 6, 2002, where the two leaders finally agreed to pursue the right to self-determination as a twin objective competing side by side with the secular democratic united Sudan, the “first” protocol in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in Machakos, Kenya, on July 20, 2002, was the same clause on the right to self-determination copied from the Khartoum Peace Agreement. And who doesn’t know that it is this self-determination which has finally culminated in the independence of South Sudan on July 9, 2011, through a referendum conducted on January 9 2011, as Dr. Riek Machar had been preaching nonstop since 1991?” James Gatdet Dak, official spokesman for the opposition leader, Riek Machar, told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

The opposition leader’s spokesperson was responding to accusations published on Sudan Tribune against Machar by the South Sudanese presidency which depicted him as a troublemaker.

President Salva Kiir’s spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny, on Thursday, said Machar “will never” be a peacemaker, accusing him of threatening to wage an armed resistance as the August 2015 peace agreement has collapsed.

“Riek Machar will never be a peacemaker. Indeed, he has a long history of turning to war to force his demands on the peoples of South Sudan,” said the presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny,

Meanwhile Machar’s replacement, Taban Deng Gai, in a separate accusation described Machar as a violent man, enumerating a number of years he had rebelled against some leaders.

“Anybody who is a peace lover has a great future ahead of him, but Riek Machar has been a violent man from 1991, 1998, 2013, and 2016. I think he should have a new approach now. If he denounces violence and becomes a peaceful person like me, like Salva Kiir, there is a role for him," said Gai at a roundtable discussion hosted by the Council’s Africa Center in the United States.

But Dak said the “false accusations” show that there are people who do not want to give the deserved credit to leaders who have brought them freedom and independence.

“Well, without Dr. Riek Machar’s peaceful approach and championing of independence, these individuals denying his historical great achievements would not be sitting in Juba in an independent nation. It is sad that now instead of enjoying the fruits of Dr. Riek Machar, they are even abusing the independence, the sovereignty, by resorting to violence and corruption and making the people to suffer more,” he claimed.

He claimed that even President Kiir who in the past used to be against self-determination in favour of a united democratic secular Sudan, was finally “made” to sign the first Machakos protocol on the very self-determination in 2002 after the merger of the two factions of Machar and late Garang.

Dak narrated that it was in the Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA), signed on April 21, 1997, that the clause for “the right to self-determination for the people of South Sudan” was subsequently enshrined in the Sudanese constitution of 1998 for the “first time ever” in the history of the Sudan.

“These are well documented historical facts that Dr. Riek Machar championed the right to self-determination which finally brought the independence of South Sudan through the exercise of the referendum. His office, as Vice President, was also directly supervising it as documented in the Council of Ministers’ resolutions in 2010 when he was given the responsibility to oversee the implementation of the self-determination that he personally spearheaded,” Dak further explained.

He said Machar was also the reason Salva Kiir was elected in 2010, saying Kiir would not have won the elections if Machar did not campaign for him across the country.

Dak accused Kiir of breaking the understanding between him and Machar in 2010 when he resorted to violence on 15 December 2013 and announced a false attempted coup in order to prevent Machar from contesting for the ruling party’s chairmanship in 2013 party national convention and for the office of the president.

Machar, he added, is committed to setting a good foundation for peace and stability, democracy, federalism, development and prosperity for the people of South Sudan as he was equally committed to ensuring that the right to self-determination resulted to independence for the people of South Sudan.

He further defended the recent decision by the SPLM-IO leadership to resist the regime in Juba, saying it was a result of the collapse of the peace agreement which Machar signed with President Kiir in August last year.

“You cannot attempt to assassinate your peace partner and deputy in government, bombed his residence and smashed it to the ground, replace him illegally, chase him in the bushes and across the borders and continuously attacking his forces and then expect him not to resist you by all means available. This is ridiculous!” he said.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 1 October 2016 03:33, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    It is crystal clear SPLM/IG is not ready for opposing political opinion. Thus they are not for plural democracy except dictatorship. The MPs we have are either appointees or illegally elected to the parliament. They serve the interests of JCE and Kiir. As long as things go on that trend peace in this country will be an illusion. A national conference is vital for the creation a peaceful country.

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  • 1 October 2016 11:16, by Dengda

    I think Gadet hit wrong knot this time, talking about Dr. Riak past achievement as the one who brought the independence of South Sudan, is completely misplacementof wording. I support him in his current reform agenda not historical achievement. Please revise your comment and let us move forward to pursue these reforms in ACRSS to be realised.

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    • 1 October 2016 12:58, by Eastern


      What Taban and Kiir are "implementing" in Juba is not the ARCISS; it is a compromise whose name nobody knows.

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    • 1 October 2016 17:11, by Whortti Bor Manza

      Dengeda, I am neither a Nuer nor a Dinka. It is you who is dead wrong and writing flat lies and fabrications. Gaddet is absolutely right. It is Dr. Riek who brought about self determination for the South. Dinkas are characterized by denial of other achievements. Please revise your history knowledge promptly.

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  • 1 October 2016 11:30, by Mr Point

    SMachar signed the 2015 peace agreement with president Kiir.
    Machar came to Juba in 2016 to carry out the peace agreement with president Kiir .
    Kiir and Malong secretly bought ammunition and prepared the Mathiang Anyoor militia to attack Machar.

    The UN report that Kiir’s government planned the July 2016 combat.


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  • 1 October 2016 11:33, by Mr Point

    In 2005 Machar stood down to let Kiir lead SPLM.
    In 2013 Machar stood down when Kiir sacked him as Vice President.

    Machar has been the peacemaker since his accord with Garang
    KIir has been the war maker even back in 2004.

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    • 1 October 2016 13:54, by Paul Ongee

      Ya J. G. Dak, why don’t you tell the truth to the whole world about fugitive Riek Macahr? Who are you trying to fool, ignorant followers of Riek Machar who are looking for positions or those who know little or nothing about Riek Machar? I know the truth about Riek hurts you a lot because you always act as a propaganda machine for IO.

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      • 1 October 2016 13:55, by Paul Ongee

        Initially, why did Riek rebel against SPLM/A in August 1991? Was it about self-determination or he wanted to simply lead the SPLM/A himself in order to become an icon like Dr. John Garang de Mabior? Was there any disagreement between Riek and Garang before 1991 about the issue of self-determination or secular united Sudan vision?

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        • 1 October 2016 14:12, by Paul Ongee

          If all Sudanese (not only South Sudanese) who joined the SPLM/A were fighting because of marginalization policy of successive Islamic regimes in Khartoum, then why Riek did not form his movement to fight only for self-determination if he believes that he knows more about strategic vision of Dr. John Garang?

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          • 1 October 2016 14:13, by Paul Ongee

            Fighting in the name of South Sudan alone, as Anyanya One did, would not have attracted support of various ethnic groups in Sudan who became the members of the SPLM/A. The old strategy did not work from 1955-1972. Why did Riek Machar fail to review or visit the failure of Anyanya One that resulted in the singing and violation of AAA-1972?

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            • 1 October 2016 14:15, by Paul Ongee

              Do you remember in one of the tricky interviews when Dr. John Garang was question that if Southerners refused to fight beyond Kosti (which means after liberating the whole South), what would you do to get to Wadi Halfa? Because of Junubin who were the majority in the SPLM/A he answered “If I see nobody is following me, then I would join them.”

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              • 1 October 2016 14:17, by Paul Ongee

                Leadership is a two-way traffic. Either you follow what people want or people follow you because of integrity, honesty, strategic vision, mission and values that the organization represents, not constant use of violence and shifting allegiance to get the top job that Riek will die without getting it at any cost. Believe me or not.

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                • 1 October 2016 14:18, by Paul Ongee

                  With the dethronement of Ethiopian leader Mengistu, Riek Machar thought poorly, as he always does, that would be the end of SPLM/A. So Reik Machar & Lam Akol who always eye the position of Dr. John Garang took advantage of the situation to break away and formed their movements which ended up in Khartoum’s doorstep.

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                  • 1 October 2016 14:19, by Paul Ongee

                    Telling Khartoum in 1991-1997 that Dr. John Garang was fighting for the whole country (Sudan) would not make any difference to recognize Riek Machar and Lam Akol as true leaders or change the mind of Khartoum toward South Sudanese politicians.

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                    • 1 October 2016 14:21, by Paul Ongee

                      Riek Machar was like any liberator in the bush fighting Khartoum for freedom but surrendered to the same enemy, hoping to be recognized as a star who stabbed SPLM/A in the back for fighting for the whole secular united Sudan while he was for self-determination only. Poor Riek’s vision will always deny him any chance of becoming an icon.

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                      • 1 October 2016 14:23, by Paul Ongee

                        If you have been demanding your freedom at gunpoint from 1983-1991, how comes that the same enemy you surrendered to would happily offer self-determination in a golden plate without paying a price for as if it was not included before in the AAA-1972 and abrogated in a broad daylight?

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                        • 1 October 2016 14:25, by Paul Ongee

                          Ya James Gatdet Dak, don’t fool people. The political history of Riek Machar and of South Sudan where it is now is very vivid. There is no way of twisting the history of how self-determination was reincluded in the CPA-2005. What brought Riek back to the SPLM/A in 2002 if self-determination could be easily achieved in KPA-1997?

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                          • 1 October 2016 14:27, by Paul Ongee

                            Why did Riek dump all the innocent Nuers in Khartoum, only to be saved by Gen. Paulino Matip? The innocent followers have been used only to get what he failed to get both in the SPLM/A and in Khartoum, knowing well that SPLM/A survived the unexpected setback (1991-2002).

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                            • 1 October 2016 14:28, by Paul Ongee

                              A leader who pursues only his own interest and dump followers at his disposal is not an honest leader. A leader who signed bogus agreement (KPA-1997) and failed to wait for its implementation is not a leader. Riek Machar and Lam Akol lack the principles of leadership qualities. Being a leader is not like obtaining a PhD.

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                              • 1 October 2016 14:30, by Paul Ongee

                                That’s why there is a difference between PhD and educated person. Educated person uses his acquired knowledge wisely for helping his family, people, country and the world, but not for preaching disunity, hatred among tribes and often shifting allegiance and using violence insistently to get what one knows nothing about.

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                                • 1 October 2016 14:32, by Paul Ongee

                                  The leadership of SPLM-IO and its propaganda machine can only fool the innocent followers who know nothing about Riek Machar but joined him emotionally to be rewarded with high positions and military ranks other than offering peace, unity, reconciliation and economic development opportunity to South Sudanese people.

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        • 1 October 2016 14:24, by Redeemer

          Dak, you should know that it is not easy to forge story brother, we are very much alive, being a briefcase holder doesn’t mean that the history of the people is in that briefcase. the history has it that, the wise leader Dr. Garang said if we use self determination as the first item, we will end up uniting northern people more that ever and will put SPLM/A at the weaker position con....

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  • 1 October 2016 15:47, by Alfredo christiani

    Hhahahah DAK Son of prostitute called himself spokesperson of SPLA-IO, who told you that RIAK Machar, brought the independence of young nation to southerners? DAK SPLA /M opened your eyes to go to school during armed struggles in 1990s to become semi educated person like now, before SPLA/M was created you were a pure cattle keeper, moving naked after the cattle’s in your home area. Don’t fools p

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  • 1 October 2016 15:50, by Alfredo christiani

    people, what we knew from RIAK is a total destructions only that begun in1991 up to date full stop

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  • 1 October 2016 16:11, by White Nation

    Dr. Machar is very honest leader than Kiir and if Dr. Machar become President now, South Sudan can change within two years and South Sudanese can said thank you Dr. Riek and everybody can enjoy the lasting peace with good development.

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    • 1 October 2016 16:39, by Redeemer

      Dr. Garang was a leader who can achieve even heaven when he is still alive, to be honest Nuba people fought 30% of the independent of SSudan under the cover of New Sudan, this is called diplomacy Mr. Briefcase holder. Paul has said it above clearly what was behind the rush of Riek to claim self-determination. Even the cattle keepers knew that, what we were fighting for was to separate the South

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  • 1 October 2016 16:47, by White Nation

    Dr. Machar is very honest leader than Kiir and if Dr. Machar become President now, South Sudan can change within two years and South Sudanese can said thank you Dr. Riek and everybody can enjoy the lasting peace with good development.

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  • 1 October 2016 16:57, by Kerem

    If truth could be told, who does not know that Riek has been known of trouble making since the struggle time. Because Garang was wiser than him he could manage him but now he has landed on a naive leader who does not even listen or reflect before deciding but relies on thugs whom he calls government officials

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  • 1 October 2016 17:23, by Akeen Mangarthon

    The propaganda specialist James Gadet Dak wanted to fool the world and young S.Sudanese about Riak achievement. Nothing Riak has achieved than destruction and many setback in many occasions. FYI it is only blind and deaf that you can fool but cannot manage to fool S.Sudanese.Who does not know Dr.Garang and President Kiir on championing the independent of South Sudan. Even God knows better.

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    • 2 October 2016 08:04, by choldit

      If at all u are refuting the info provided by James Gatdet Dak, u have right to negate any point on it. We the south Sudanese will judge u and him base on what we know and ur presentation. So far Dr Riek machar is the known father of self determination. Yes he signed it into sudanese constitution in 1997, he made it a part of our struggle in 2002, he supervised its process till vote on it.

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  • 3 October 2016 08:04, by Joyuma John

    James Dak is the barking dog who is more dangerious than even Riek Machar, he was the one who was inciting J1 fight and is now again invariably using anti-peace language while in Nairobi enjoying robbing money at the expense of Nuer community, if Khartoum Agreement of Riek machar was a holding agreement why Riek decided to joined SPLM/A main stream under poeple leader His excellency Dr. John de G.

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